It's been a rocky road to get speed cameras installed in New York City, but the cameras finally saw some victory yesterday when both the State Assembly and the Senate passed a bill mandating they be installed at school sites.
The bill was proposed by State Assembly Member Deborah Glick, and allows for a 10 mile-per-hour leeway over the speed limit. The Department of Transportation has been calling for cameras at streets surrounding schools for some time, and Glick says her bill is one step towards preventing speed deaths. "Passage of this bill means that we have an extra tool to protect children walking to and from school," Glick said in a statement today. "Speed Cameras will not only catch cars speeding, but they may start to modify the speeding behavior of every driver."
A number of city officials applauded the bill's passage today. " More New Yorkers are killed in fatal crashes caused by speeding than in any other type of traffic crashes," City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said in a statement. "The Council, through home rule message and resolution, requested this critical legislation to protect drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists alike. Speed cameras will reduce speeding, protect our school children and save lives." And Transportation Committee Chair James Vacca added, "We have too many people in a rush to go nowhere and they must understand that the rules of the road apply to everyone. I’m pleased that the state legislature has joined the Council to finally put the brakes on such dangerous behavior.”
Earlier this year, speed cameras were expected to die in State Legislature, and Mayor Bloomberg was not hesitant to voice his displeasure with the State Senators responsible for the stall. “Maybe you want to give those phone numbers to the parents of the child when a child is killed,” a heated Bloomberg said in March. “It would be useful so that the parents can know exactly who’s to blame.” The bill will now go to Governor Cuomo for consideration.